Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Better Spring

Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Better Spring

Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Better Spring

The winter is when you spend the least amount of time thinking of your lawn. Unless you live in an area that is relatively warm all year long, chances are you have put the lawn mower away and are ready for a few months of relaxation before you have to start the lawn maintenance routine again.

There are a few things you can do during even the harshest winter that can ensure a beautiful, lush yard once spring rolls around again.

Fertilizing in the Winter

Late fall or early winter are the best times to fertilize cool season grasses. Since the majority of the lawns in North America are made from these grasses, like Bermuda and bluegrass, it is a good bet your yard has a typical cool season blend.

Before the first freeze, give your lawn a thorough fertilizing to replace all of the nutrients that can be lost from the soil during the hot summer months. Once the weather turns cold, the fertilizer will remain in the soil and feed your lawn’s roots all winter long.

When spring comes your lawn will be full of healthy, lush, green grass that has been feeding on good fertilizer nutrients underneath the snow.

Mowing Strategies

During the last month of the summer you should gradually lower the cutting base of your lawn mower each time you mow the lawn. Slowly cutting your grass shorter will allow it to winter well without shocking it by cutting it all off at once.

If you leave your lawn too tall during the winter months it will be prey to field mice and other burrowing animals that want a warm place to sleep. Mice can destroy large parts of your lawn by building nests. They create dead spots where they spend all of their time as well as pulling up large amounts of grass to build their structures.

Make sure your grass is as short as possible at the end of the season. Short grass also protects any new growth that may be more fragile near the end of the growing season.

Keep it Clean

It is easy for items to be left on the lawn during the long, cold winter when no one goes outside very often. Stray logs, toys, and even lawn furniture can be accidentally overlooked before the first snow comes.

Make sure that you clear the lawn of all objects after you mow it for the last time of the year. Do an occasional sweep of the lawn every couple of weeks during the winter, as well.

If an object is left on the grass during cold weather and snowfall it can create large dead spots because of the weight of the object. In the spring the grass in that area will be stunted and thinner than the rest of the yard.

Avoid Excessive Lawn Traffic

When the grass is brown and short it can be easy for people to forget that it shouldn’t be walked on. Try to prevent very much foot traffic on your winter lawn. Grass is relatively resilient, but it will have a difficult time recovering if a path becomes well worn across the lawn.

Keep your sidewalks cleared of ice and snow so that you and your guests won’t be tempted to cut across the yard very often.
Never allow anyone to park a truck or a car on your lawn. Even the smallest vehicle will leave impressions in the soil and kill off the grass that is underneath the tires. Using the lawn as a parking lot is the fastest way to kill the good grass and make room for crabgrass and other types of weeds.
Prepare in the Fall

There really is not much lawn care that needs to be done during the cold months of winter. If you properly prepare the lawn during the fall, it will be fine until the warm days of spring arrive once more.

Make sure you aerate, fertilize, and mow the lawn before the first freeze of the season.
Rake away any dead leaves that may have fallen and collected on your yard to avoid wet spots that can become mossy or moldy.
Keep the lawn cleared of debris and help everyone in the family respect the yard while it is dormant.
Once you have taken care of everything that needs to be done during the fall you will be ready to enjoy a nice cozy winter indoors with your family before lawn care season begins again in the spring.

Article is brought to you from


Morning Glory Seeds

Morning Glory Seeds

Depending on where you live these can be a weed or a beautiful plant.  Check your state to make sure it is not an invasive species.

Morning glories are annual climbers with slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. They have a beautiful shape before they unfold in the Sun and romantic tendrils that lend old-fashioned charm.
In warmer areas, train climbers over a pergola or arch, or use as dense groundcover. The vine grows quickly up to 15 feet in one season, and can self-seed fairly easily, too.
The flowers bloom from early summer to the first frost. Their big, fragrant, colorful flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Note that the seeds are highly toxic if ingested.
Grow annuals in a sunny, sheltered site. They need a lot of sun.
Plant in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
Choose a site that is sheltered from cold or drying winds.
Sow Morning Glory seeds early in the season once the ground has warmed to 64 degrees F.
File the seeds just long enough to break the coat and soak them for 24 hours before planting them. (They look like little worms.)
Cover lightly with ¼-inch of soil. Space about 6 inches apart. Water thoroughly.
Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer after planting and monthly.
Support climbers and trailing species.
Morning glories are low-maintenance. Water during dry periods.
Mulch to retain moisture and avoid weeds.
Pests: Aphids, leaf miner, spider mites, caterpillar (leaf cutter)
Disease/Fungus: Rust, fungal leaf spots, and Fusarium Wilt
Critters: Deer can be a nuisance.
‘Heavenly Blue’ are the classic morning glories with the rich azure (blue) flowers with white throats. It climbs to 12 feet.

Morning glory species belong to many genera, some of which are:

The most popular we sell are Heavenly blue, Ipomoea.

The seeds of the Morning Glory contain a natural tryptamine called Lysergic Acid Amide (LSA), from the same family as LSD

We like Bypass pruners better than Anvil pruners...

We like Bypass pruners better than Anvil pruners...

There are two types of secateurs, also called pruners; bypass and anvil. If you are using an anvil pruner for most of your pruning needs – you are using the wrong tool.

anvil secateurs (pruners)
bypass secateurs (pruners)

Anvil or Bypass Pruners?  We don't sell Anvil for a good reason.
Anvil pruners work similar to a knife where a blade is pushed through the plant material onto a cutting board, ie the anvil. Bypass pruners work more like scissors where two blades pass by each other. To the novice gardener there does not seem to be much of a difference between these tools, but the difference is very important when pruning. Anvil prumers tend to crush soft plant tissue. When you use a bypass pruner correctly, you will do almost no damage to the plant.

Anvil pruners do work better than bypass pruners for cutting up dead wood but for most of us, that is not a very common job in the garden. We are usually pruning live plant material or wood that has recently died.

Using Secateurs Correctly.
Think about cutting back a branch to a fresh bud.

In order to make the cut this close to the bud, the pruner needs to be held very close to the bud. With the anvil pruner there is a risk that the bud or the tissue around the bud sits on the anvil and gets damaged during the cut. Using bypass pruners, you can hold the pruner so that none of it touches the bud during the cutting process.
Improper usage will result in a stub and the metal parts of the pruner will touch and damage the stub – neither is good for the plant.

The important point to understand is that the secateur should be held so that none of the metal part touches the wood or stem that will be left on the plant. This does mean that you might need to turn your hand depending on your relative position to the bud. If you follow this rule, you will have very little damage to the plant.

Clover in Lawn

Clover in Lawn

This is from the Old Farmers Almanac which we love!

George and Becky Lohmiller


At one time, most lawns had at least some clover growing in them, and many were almost entirely clover. Today, many lawn enthusiasts are trying to limit the use of pesticides and are again turning to clover.

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a rapid spreader that crowds out broadleaf weeds while it grows harmoniously with grass. It will thrive in areas that are poorly drained or too shady for a conventional lawn.
Being a legume, clover has the ability to convert nitrogen into fertilizer using bacteria in it’s root system, practically eliminating the need for additional fertilization.
It is an extremely drought-resistant plant and will keep its cool-green color even during the hottest and driest parts of summer.
Left uncut, white clover grows 4-8 inches tall and produces small white flowers that are often tinged with pink. The flowers not only create a beautiful visual effect, but also bring in bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects that prey on garden pests.
Honeybees rarely sting when they are away from their hive, but if they make you uncomfortable or you are allergic to bee stings, simply have the lawn mowed more often when clover is in bloom.
You can plant clover by itself for a ground cover, but it stands up better to foot traffic when combined with lawn grass.
Only 5-10% by weight of tiny clover seed needs to be mixed with the recommended amount of grass seed to create a thick stand.
When adding clover to an existing lawn, first mow it close and remove any thatch to allow the seed to fall to the soil surface.
To sow clover alone, mix it with enough sand to facilitate spreading. About 2 ounces of clover is needed for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Finding a four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Surely it must be, because on average there is only one of them for every 10,000 clovers with three leaves. But even if you never find a four-leaf specimen, just having clover growing in your lawn will keep it greener longer with minimum care, which we consider to be extremely good luck.

Best Flowers to plant in the Winter for cool season color?

Best Flowers to plant in the Winter for cool season color?

We found this great article from Sunset Magazine and wanted to share it with our customers.

Great plants for fall and winter color
Cool-season flowers bring a splash of color to your garden right when you need it most.
Where freezes are infrequent, you can plant cheery pansies, snapdragons, English daisies, and more from early fall through late winter. They'll overwinter, filling your borders, containers, and pocket gardens with months of flower power.

In cold climates, plants will die off in winter but can be planted again in spring.

Look for sturdy plants with good leaf color in six-packs and 4-inch containers. Click ahead for some of our favorite picks for the cool season.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Daisy-like calendula provides easy color from late fall through spring in mild-winter climates, and are long lasting in a vase.

Choose classic orange and bright yellow, or opt for subtler shades of apricot, cream, and soft yellow. Branching plants are 1 to 2 feet high and 1 to 1½ feet wide and look great as masses of color or in a container.

Calendula plants take full sun and moderate water. They will tolerate many soils as long as they have good drainage. Remove the spent flowers to prolong bloom.

Candytuft (Iberis)
Candytuft plants grow 8 to 12 inches high and wide; their narrow, shiny dark green leaves look great all year.
Pure white flower clusters are carried on stems long enough to cut for bouquets. Choose 'Alexander's White' (pictured), ‘Autumnale’, or ‘Autumn Snow; they bloom in spring and again in fall.

Plants thrive in full sun or part shade and regular water. Candytuft needs well-drained soil and should be sheared lightly after bloom to stimulate new growth.


English daisy (Bellis perennis)
Plump, perky English daises make great edging plants. Or slip a few into your lawn for unexpected bursts of color.

Dark green leaves are 1 to 2 inches long and form rosettes to 8 inches wide. Pink, rose, red, or white flowers are borne on 3- to 6-inch stems.

Deadhead to prolong bloom. English daisy needs regular water and prefers a bit of shade in hot climates.

Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule)
With their tall, leafless stems that dance in the breeze, Iceland poppies are graceful companions to many cool-season plants.

Iceland poppies grow 1 to 2 feet tall; flowers are cream, orange, pink, rose, salmon, yellow, or white. They need full sun and moderate to regular water.

In mild-winter climates, set out plants in fall or winter for months of cool-season color. Pick flowers freely to prolong the show.

In cold winter areas, sow seed in earliest spring for summer bloom; or set out plants in fall for bloom the following year.

Ornamental kale
Giant rosettes of frilly leaves in lavender, rose, white, and creamy yellow make ornamental kales favorite additions to the winter garden.

Because these showy cabbage relatives tolerate cold weather and can hold their brilliant color all the way into spring, they're ideal for display on porches, patios, or beside entryways, or for massing in garden beds. They grow 1 to 2 feet tall.

Plant kale as soon as possible so heads develop fully; the color will intensify in the cold. Plant in full sun or light shade. Water regularly and feed every other week with a dilute liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion.

These low-growing plants (6 to 10 inches tall) with five-petaled flowers are top sellers year after year for good reason.

They deliver lots of blooms over a long period, come in a huge range of colors ― both solids and bicolors ― and bloom through winter in much of the West. ('Dynamite Blotch' is pictured here.)

The large-flowered, faced varieties may catch your eye first in nurseries. But when planted en masse, nonfaced, single-colored varieties are often more striking.

English primrose
Most primroses bloom in spring or summer, but English primrose (as well as fairy primroses and Chinese primroses) are also excellent choices for winter color.

Circular flowers arise either alone or in clusters from a foliage rosette. English primrose (pictured here) comes in nearly every color and grows 8 to 12 inches high and 9 inches wide.

Primroses can take full sun in cooler climates, part to full shade otherwise. All need regular water.

Snapdragons are among the best flowers for borders and cuttings, and they’ll bloom all winter in mild-winter climates. (In cold climates, plant in spring.)

Flowers come in many colors and are divided into upper and lower “jaws.” Some have double flowers, some are bell-shaped, and some blooms look like azaleas.

Flowers shoot from 1-3 feet tall and 6 inches to 2 feet wide. Set out plants from fall to spring in mild-winter areas. All take full sun and regular water.

What to do with your garden in case of a storm?

What to do with your garden in case of a storm?

In light of the recent storm on both coasts we thought it prudent to add this blog.

Seriously you just did a lot of work to winterize your garden and now disaster can erase it.  Here is what we found out.

Protecting Your Garden From Severe Weather
Written by: Alyson Survival Gardening 1 Comment Print This Article Print This Article

When serious storms like Hurricane Sandy slams into coastal cities and towns, many worry about lives and property. Fallen trees, widespread flooding, power outages, and other damage are a given, and it comes as no surprise that garden beds often bear the brunt of weather events like this one. Severe weather of any kind, including tornadoes, winter storms, and torrential rains, can spell disaster to your garden, even if the damage done to your home is minimal.
Most of us are already familiar with protecting our delicate flowers and vegetables from a sudden cold snap, but wind, flooding, and falling debris present another challenge entirely. So what’s a gardener to do? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to design a completely stormproof garden, but with thoughtful preparation and planning before and during the approach of a storm, you can give your yard and garden the best possible chance of survival.
Plan Ahead
Like all natural disasters, it’s best to plan far ahead for a hurricane or severe storm. Our gardens do not take as much priority as our loved ones, but if saved, they can continue to provide valuable fresh food even if transportation and utilities are down.
Preparing your garden for a storm shouldn’t take too much extra time or effort. Many of the steps you need to take to protect the home from severe weather also serve to protect the garden.
Planning and preparing the garden long before the approach of a storm is key. You want your garden to be as protected as possible ahead of time, so that if severe weather is imminent, you can focus on what’s most important: the safety of you and your family.
A Storm-Resistant Landscape
Trees are one of the most important aspects to a storm-resistant garden. Trees can cause extensive damage and threaten lives during a hurricane, ice storm, or tornado. However, strong wind-resistant trees that are properly pruned and planted away from buildings don’t pose as much of a threat in the event of a storm.
If you are planning on planting trees in your yard, plan carefully and take severe weather into account. Do a bit of research on wind-resistant trees suited to your climate. Most of these trees are native to windy or stormy regions and are well-suited to handling hurricane-force winds and flooding. These trees often have strong, deep root systems and an ability to shed their leaves to prevent a sail-like effect that can blow them over. Here are some examples:
Live Oak
Bald Cyprus
Winged Elm
By contrast, avoid trees that are fast growers with weak trunks, and trees with shallow root growth, and dense, top-heavy canopies. These are especially prone to uprooting or snapping. Here are some examples of damage-prone trees:
Red Cedar
Box Elder
For more information, take a look at this University of Florida webpage, which covers the effects of wind on trees and preventing damage in more detail.
Storm-Proofing Trees
If you haven’t done so already, remember to check the trees surrounding your home periodically. Be sure to look carefully for potential hazards. Dead, rotting, or damaged trees and limbs can be a serious threat to life and property and should be removed. If you cannot prune large trees back yourself, consider hiring a professional, but be sure to only hire an arborist or tree service that is licensed and insured with a good track record.
When A Storm Approaches
Some storms may give very little warning. For many hurricanes and tropical storms, however, you may have a few days’ notice before the severe weather hits. As you’re preparing your home, take some time for the yard and garden. Below are some steps that you can take to protect both your garden and your home.
Remove Garden Hazards
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when preparing the garden for an imminent storm is to secure everything that isn’t firmly rooted to the ground:
Garden containers, including hanging baskets, potted plants should be moved off of exposed decks and patios and brought indoors.
If some potted plants are too large to be moved indoors, cluster them together in one protected area. You can also lay large potted trees on their side in a sheltered location and strap them down.
Bring all garden ornaments and holiday decorations indoors.
Loose garden tools and furniture, including patio chairs, shovels, and garbage cans, should also be brought inside before strong winds. Other items such as bird feeders, hoses, buckets, and composters can also pose a threat in high winds and should be put in storage.
Sturdy cold frames with their panels removed may stand a good chance of weathering a storm, but it all depends on the severity of the winds and rain. Stay on the side of caution and prepare for a worst-case scenario. Some gardeners opt to secure these structures with cinderblocks. Lightweight row covers are too flimsy and should be dismantled and put away somewhere safe.
Prepping The Plants
If you have time, securely stake small trees and shrubs to provide much-needed support in high winds.
If you have a small garden bed that can’t be moved out of harm’s way, you can offer the plants some protection by surrounding them with sandbags or large bags of garden soil.
If you have time, take one last look at the garden and harvest what you can. Even if the plants survive the severe weather, their fruits and leaves may sustain serious damage from the wind and flying debris.
After The Storm
Even after the winds die down and the sun reappears, there are still potential dangers that can threaten your family and garden. Heed the warnings of weather conditions and don’t venture outside until the storm is over. Once out in the yard, be especially wary of damaged tree branches overhead.
Perhaps most importantly, be ever thankful and remember to be optimistic. During the aftermath cleanup, keep an eye out for newly cleared areas that may be of use next growing season. Perhaps that gap left by a downed tree will be the perfect place for a new herb garden bed. Life, and the garden, moves on.

Preparing your garden in the Fall article by Colin McCrate

Preparing your garden in the Fall article by Colin McCrate
Colin McCrate is the coauthor of Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Crops at Home. In the spring, he told us how to plant our first vegetable garden. Here’s his advice for preparing your plot for fall.

Do you feel the crisp breeze in the air? Notice the leaves are beginning to change color? Fall is finally here! With the change in season comes changes to your garden. It’s important to get your veggie garden prepared for the transition to fall and winter. Plus, it’s a fun way to make the most of the remaining sunny days. So, grab the garden gloves and get going to the garden:

1. Harvest and preserve vegetables and herbs: Oddly enough, after investing time and energy into the garden all season long, many gardeners will slowly fade away from harvesting as the season nears its end. I know you’re tired of making zucchini fritters and tomato tarte tatin every night, but there’s so much more you can do! Fall is the time to harvest many of your storage crops (onions, carrots, potatoes, winter squash) and make sure they are properly cured and put away for the winter. It is also a good time to examine plants that you may otherwise overlook: sunflowers, broccoli side shoots and herbs (among others). Herbs in particular can be easily dried or frozen in a variety of ways, and even a small garden can produce enough to provide a winter-long supply. Get out and scavenge everything you possibly can. (I’m sure you won’t regret it come January.)

2. Check your soil pH: Checking your soil pH may seem beyond your range of garden nerdiness, but it is one of the most important things you can do each year to ensure the success of your crops. I find that it helps if you put on a lab coat and tease out your hair a little bit before getting started. A pH kit or electronic tester can be found at just about any plant nursery or online shop. Most kits are inexpensive and accurate enough to guide your pH adjustments. Most vegetables like a slightly acidic soil pH. The ideal range is between 6.3 and 6.9 (on a scale from 1 to 14). If your soil proves to have a pH below this range, add lime to your soil this fall (also available at most plant nurseries or hardware stores). If the soil is too alkaline (above 7.5), consider adding elemental sulfur to your beds to adjust the pH lower. Both of these amendments are organic, and adding them in the fall will allow them to incorporate for a few months before the next big planting season.

3. Add compost and other organic amendments: Just like the pH adjusting amendments mentioned above, fall is a great time to add sources of organic matter (compost, manure, etc) to the garden. A fall application of 1 to 2 inches of compost or manure on top of your beds will help resupply the soil with nutrients for the next season. Many gardeners will also add an additional layer of a lighter organic material (like straw) on top to prevent nutrient leaching and keep down early spring weeds. Add whatever types of compost or manure you have access to, but make sure that the material is free of weed seeds before applying it to the garden. Poorly composted materials can be full of seeds of grass and other traumatizing weeds, so ask the supplier!

4. Turn off your watering system: If you are lucky enough to have an automatic irrigation system or even if you just water with a garden hose, now is a good time to start thinking about disassembling the system to prevent frost damage. In warmer climates it may be possible to simply disconnect the system from a hose spigot and allow the water to drain out, but in colder climates you will want to either blast all the water out with an air compressor or just bring everything inside for the winter. Putting away hoses in the fall may seem fairly obvious, but also fairly easy to forget.

5. Plant garlic: Garlic is like the hidden track at the end of your favorite album. The garden season is over and done with, everything is cleared out and put to bed, and then out of nowhere it is time to plant garlic! The exact planting date will vary depending on your climate, but the goal is to plant after temperatures have dropped significantly but before the ground freezes. If garlic is planted too early, a tender new shoot may emerge from the ground before winter even starts leaving the plant susceptible to cold and frost damage. If you try to plant it too late (especially in colder climates), the ground may be too frozen to dig! Fall is the best time for garlic planting because it allows the crop to vernalize, resulting in larger yields (vernalization is a term used to describe a period of exposure to cold temperatures. For garlic, it encourages bulbing the following spring).

Plant an individual garlic clove 3 inches deep and space them 6 to 8 inches apart. Add a few inches of mulch to the bed (straw and/or compost) and wait! Each clove will develop into a full head of garlic by next summer.

For more information on garden site selection, soil preparation and crop care, check out Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Crops at Home. You can also learn more at

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Go To It! Prepare Your First Vegetable Garden By Colin McCrate

Why Use cover crop?

Why Use cover crop?

Benefits of Cover Crops

Cover crops can boost your profits the first year you plant them. They can improve your bottom line even more over the years as their soil-improving effects accumulate. Other benefits reducing pollution, erosion and weed and insect pressure may be difficult to quantify or may not appear in your financial statements. Identifying these benefits, however, can help you make sound, long-term decisions for your whole farm.
What follows are some important ways to evaluate the economic and ecological aspects of cover crops. These significant benefits (detailed below) vary by location and season, but at least two or three usually occur with any cover crop. Consult local farming groups and agencies with cover crop experience to figure more precise crop budgets.
Cut fertilizer costs
Reduce the need for herbicides and other pesticides
Improve yields by enhancing soil health
Prevent soil erosion
Conserve soil moisture
Protect water quality
Help safeguard personal health
Evaluate a cover crop’s impact as you would any other crop, balancing costs against returns in all forms. Don’t limit your calculations, however, to the target cover crop benefit. A cover often has several benefits. Many cover crops offer harvest possibilities as forage, grazing or seed that work well in systems with multiple crop enterprises and livestock.

From the website

We sell all types of clovers, grains, legumes and mixes for cover crop

California Patch Ranked among Top Retail Lawn Seed in New National Study.

California Patch Ranked among Top Retail Lawn Seed in New National Study.

Here is what we received from Wiki.ezvid about our Grass Seed Patch.  We have 4 unique lawn patches under the K9 Turf Product brand sold through The Dirty Gardener.

Dear The Dirty Gardener, Greetings from Los Angeles. We're writing to let you know that Dirty Gardener's California Patch has achieved a rank of #4 in our wiki of 2016's best grass seed. Compiled with twenty-three hours of research, this video wiki guide, newly published in our garden category, is a broad-ranging, impartial assessment of grass seed options available to consumers in the United States.

You can view the video wiki at this url:

We think this is pretty cool.  


Lawn Care in Extreme Summer Heat Help.

Lawn Care in Extreme Summer Heat Help.

The Extreme summer  is here – can your existing lawn take the heat?

The Dirty Gardener suggest the following tips for you to maintain a healthy lawn during the extreme heat of the summer months.

Don't cut your lawn TOO SHORT

A very common mistake made by both homeowners and commercial landscape  companies is cutting grass too short.  This can scalp the lawn and limit the plants ability to produce energy for growth.  When grass is cut at the proper height it develops stronger roots supporting vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress.

Different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights. We sell all of them!!! For example, cool season grass such as ryegrass, fescue, bluegrass and warm season grass like centipede, zoysia and bermuda require somewhat different maintenance techniques. Research which cutting height is right for your lawn.

Do you know the “ONE-THIRD” RULE for mowing Heights?

When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to also remember the “one-third” rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed. In fact, cool season grass types actually benefit in the heat of the summer by setting the blade higher. If a lawn is normally cut at 2.5 inches, for example, increasing it to 3 inches in the heat of summer will come with many benefits.


Huge confusion about maintaining grass in extreme heat is the necessity to overwater. A general rule to keep in mind is that turf grasses do better managed on the dry side rather than wet; when soil is constantly wet, it creates too many physiological problems for plants and soil organisms alike. The grass roots will be deprived of oxygen and may become more susceptible to disease because diseases thrive in wet conditions. In general, the drier the grass and soil, the less disease there will be.

We use a tuna can.  If you fill up a tuna can with your sprinkler system, this is all the water your lawn needs per day during the summer months.  Anymore and its wasted.

While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily. Lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.

Water early in the AM, say 5:00 AM after 6:00 PM when temps can be cooler.  Don't water in the middle of the day.  Its bad for the grass and evaporates.


Avoid mowing the lawn during drought stress. Lawns under such stress are limited in their ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged even more. Instead, mow the grass after a rainfall or after irrigation day. Also, resist mowing wet grass to avoid clumping.  


When grass is cut with a sharp mower blade, the plant will heal faster than when cut with a dull blade. Dull blades will actually tear the plant tissue, not cut it; this torn grass tissue will develop a brown appearance at the surface and may become more susceptible to stress and disease. Sharper blades will prevent a brown appearance and help to prevent further harm to the plant.


Return clippings to the lawn by using a mulching mower. Clippings are actually beneficial to the lawn, as they act as a slow-release fertilizer for the plant as they decompose. 


You don't want to do anything during the hot months....Fertilizing stimulates more growth, which consumes even more energy further stressing lawns during periods of high temperatures.
Resist aggressive practices that impose temporary damage during periods of summer heat. Instead, cultivate in fall or spring when the turf is vigorous and can recover quickly from the temporary injury.


 Step one is to maintain year-round health. Grass will tolerate the heat more easily if it is in a healthy state throughout the entire year. Season-long care includes proper fertilization, watering, mowing, and pest control that all help to produce a consistently healthy lawn that is best able to tolerate summer (and other) stresses. In terms of your own health, think of step one as eating right, regular exercise and good sleep to insure your best long-term health.

Step two of the two-pronged approach is to use best management practices during the actual summer stress period – all the things discussed in this article above. Again, in terms of your own health, step two is analogous to the things your doctor prescribes when you are sick to get well in the short-term.

This should hopefully assist you be the envy of your neighborhood.  If it does not we can make you a custom mix of Drought Tolerant or Eco Lawn that you don't need to take care of or water much.  There are so many alternative lawn ideas that are gaining ground and acceptance all over the country, not just in the Southern states.

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